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Daybreak (1931) - Plot Summary Poster

(1931)

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  • Willi, a brash young lieutenant in the Austrian Imperial Guard, bent on an evening of pleasure, visits a house of ill repute and gambling parlor. He meets Laura, a sweet innocent girl and spends the night with her, leaving her money in the morning. Devastated with the realization Willi found her a mere convenience, Laura becomes the mistress of Herr Schnabel, an unpleasant but wealthy gentleman. Never quite getting over Laura, Willi is goaded by her into gambling with Schnabel and losing more money to him than he can possibly repay. Laura is unaware that Willi must either pay his debt by the next day or take the only other honorable way out - committing suicide.

  • Willi Kasder is a lieutenant in the Austrian Imperial Royal Guard. He lives fast and free with many a woman, and in doing so often lives beyond his financial means. Despite taking one's own life is seen as being the honorable thing to do for an officer and a gentleman if he cannot pay off his debts promptly, Willi feels free to amass these debts as he knows his wealthy uncle, General von Hertz, will bale him out. For financial security, the General wants Willi to marry the wealthy Emily Kessner, it being solely a marriage for Willi of financial convenience. This plan may not come to fruition when Willi meets and falls in love with the innocent Laura Taub, a music teacher. Laura is initially scared of Willi and his forthright pursuit of her, but she soon falls in love with him. A move by Willi may threaten their burgeoning relationship, and a move by Laura in return, she with a new perspective on life, may unwittingly threaten Willi's life altogether.

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